After Maxine Kumin's "The Sunday Phone Call"
by Lisa Marie Brodsky
If Mom called, she would list the foods
I needed to buy to fill my empty refrigerator
You need to clean once in a while, too.
But Im tired, Ma. I miss you.
Dont use me as an excuse to slip away.
And Id be silent, then,
My tears add up every night and flood this place.
Dont tell yourself youre doomed. Your cat needs
you. And you must make chocolate éclairs
for your daughter.
My daughter? Id scoff. Im as lonely
as a meow in the snow, I have no lover,
mother, I have no one to grow old with, make
babies with and Im nearing thirty.
Shed laugh at my naïveté and Id correct myself:
No, because of you Ill forever be
stuck at 28, November 6, 2006, stuck on that phone
with John repeating, Be strong.
He means well, shed sigh.
And Id bring up the fact that I only have
one blood parent now. I love him, but
you always helped me explain him to me.
You two have grown closer, shed note.
Dont use your dying as a blessing, Id choke out.
Im blind without you, Im deaf without you.
And shed sigh, my Lisa Marie, please stop talking
and listen to me.
And Id stop.
But youre not saying anything.
Exactly, shed smile. Just listen to me breathe.
And I would and Id realize thats the
most comforting sound in the world.
And there Id stand, leaning against the wall
with the phone to my ear
for a very long time.
Posted on 12/29/2006
Copyright © 2020 Lisa Marie Brodsky